Last night was the first night for quite a long time when the sky was clear - well, there were dark clouds around the horizon but even at half past ten there was still a clear pale aquamarine sky with gold edges - very beautiful. That meant that in the night there was a beautiful starry sky. Because we are far from street lighting, when the sky is clear we get a magnificent display of stars. I stood in the bedroom window watching, and thinking. And I wondered what night creatures would be about.
The hedgehogs would be around for sure - we had seen them when we took Tess out for her last walk - snuffling about, chomping snails, busy about their own business and clearing up for us, as we had been gardening. If we find a snail (on the hostas!) we crush its shell and leave it on the path and the next morning it is gone.
No doubt the foxes would be about too. We rarely see one but the dogs know when they have been round the fields and sometimes we can pick up their rank smell too. We might find the remains of a rabbit (their favourite food round here) but only rarely - they clean up well after themselves and often take the whole rabbit back to the earth to feed cubs.
And the owls. Sometimes at dusk in the winter we see the ghostly shape of an owl glide past our kitchen window and land in the Scots Pine trees. But even if we rarely see them, we hear them most nights as they sit in the trees and talk to each other. They leave no trace of their food unless you look for their pellets (usually under where they nest or perch) in which case you can pull the pellet apart to see what little bones lie within.
You may wonder what today's photograph has to do with any of this. Well, it is a bit of a convoluted route that my brain took (no sat nav up there!) but this is how my reasoning went.
All these creatures clean up well after themselves - even in the daytime road kill is swiftly cleared up by the crows so that no trace remains.
The other day Heather (Ragged Old Blogger) posted her textile experiment using an idea from Maggie Grey's book. I have that book too and tried out some of the ideas a while ago. The elephant is one of them. I tried it out because I had a huge pile of little offcuts of material I had been using. Bits and pieces were lying about and it seemed a shame to throw them away. So, I behaved a little bit like the crow (come on, now, use your imagination here) and tidied up all the bits left lying around. They were mostly offcuts from sari material (thank you Bombay Stores) in bright colours - fine, gauzy materials but all in tiny snippets.
Using bondaweb ironed on to a piece of calico, I laid the bits out, covered them with a bit of almost transparent material, and sewed all over them with gold thread. I admit to being completely carried away. Once I had started I used more and more bits, flinging them on with gay abandon and machining until they were well fastened down. And I ended up with a new piece of "material" - all my own work! And the snippets were all gone (hence the title).
I made several book covers like this and with the bit left over I cut out this elephant - not for any reason except I had had his shape for a long time (thank you Brenda) and liked it.
He sits now in my study and I find him very cheering with his fantastic colours. Try it sometime.